My daughter is learning French and I'm trying to get her to not just use her English and translate word for word or not assume that because that expression exists in English that it can be translated word for word to French.

As a joke to her brother she wrote " Mon frère est tellement pire en tout que moi" which is a word for word translation from English "my brother is so much worse than me at everything"

I told her that not only that the grammar is incorrect, a French person would never say it like that. Am I wrong in my observation?

How can that "sentiment" be conveyed in French as if was said by a French native speaker and not just someone translating something that is commonly said in English. Thank you in advance


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    La traduction mot à mot avec l'ajout éventuel entre parenthèses des mots induits dans la conjugaison/déclinaison/position/… du texte original est un outil puissant pour comprendre la façon de penser et d'organiser ses phrases … en version, mais surtout pas en thème, pour ces derniers, on propose sa traduction et on vérifie sur deepl.com/translator : on apprend avec les mots traduits en dessous et les traductions possibles avec le pointeur de la souris sur les mots du résultat.
    – Personne
    Apr 30, 2021 at 16:29
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    Misdirection. While the word for word trick was being played out, the person selected en tout for at everything, and not à, which is closer, thereby showing some skill with prepositional affinity. Wfw will sometimes work. But consider idioms, like the shit hit the fan, consider different choices of auxiliary verbs i.e I'm hungry vs. j'ai faim, consider lack of preposition in English i.e. I'm going home... Wfw will fail at those. Because there's more to language than just words, like collocations, constructions and turn of phrases, grammar rules and usage, register, pronunciation etc. May 1, 2021 at 6:30

2 Answers 2


Mon frère est tellement pire en tout que moi is actually not that bad and could possibly be said by a native French. A real word by word translation would be mon frère est si beaucoup pire que moi en tout which is definitely both non grammatical and unheard.

Here is what I would have said … if I had a brother ;-) :

Mon frère est tellement moins bon/doué que moi en tout / quel que soit le sujet.


Definitly an interesting question. I agree witn jjliagre‘s translation. En français moderne, on dirait “ mon frère est tellement plus mauvais que moi en tout“ ou „mon frère est tellement pire que moi dans n‘importe quel domaine“ sachant que pire (=plus mauvais) est un peu tombé en désuétude.

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